tv [untitled] November 22, 2014 8:30pm-9:01pm PST
allow level of service ~ aspects to be considered so that you don't let any more possibly in the future especially level of service impacts and delays in intersections, you still have to look at air pollution, pedestrian safety, noise, and other issue relating to traffic. and there is a lot of evidence, the record about potential significant impacts relating to those issue, and you're going to be hearing more from i believe people testifying here today about impacts relating to the location of the local school where the staging of the concrete trucks is going to occur. mitigation measures in this record are also significant. categorical exemptions aren't allowed when you need mitigation. i'd like to briefly explain that in that the idea behind categorical exemptions is to streamline projects that have no impacts. when a project needs mitigation, there is a potential to that mitigation to
fail. you don't want a project that has -- for mitigation measures to be approved by exemption. in the cases say that's not allowed. here there are a lot of mitigation measures. project conditions and the geotechnical report indicates a lot of other conditions and mitigations to be added in the future. because there is a potential that those mitigations to fail or not be adequate, we don't know. we don't even know what they are. so, this board can't make a finding that no mitigation is me. by approving a categorical exemption, what this board would be saying is that this project has no potential significant environmental impacts and you've got a record in this particular situation that proves the contrary. so, in this particular situation it's imperative that there be environmental analysis to include the concerned public and to give the city and your staff the information that it needs to consider whether this
project should be altered, whether it can be approved without significant impacts, and if there are significant impacts whether, in fact, this project should be approved or not. just to say a little bit more about the geotechnical report, we've had some reports going back and forth and they're very technical. i'm just a lawyer. i don't understand all the scientific matters here, but it's a classic dispute among experts. you have experts that are looking at similar facts and disagreeing about the consequences. in that situation you need an environmental impact report to assess in fact what the impacts are going to be, whether they're going to be significant and whether they can be mitigated to a level of in significance. also relating to traffic your staff reports that and
esthetics as well, you have a lot of opinions of local residents in this record. that those are not evident that you need to consider ~ because they relate to argument and speculation. and that's not what the law provides. it's very clear that certain very technical areas of environmental analysis like geotechnical impacts, for example, talking about tin khani missions or other technicalities, those are the province of experts. but there are a number of environmental issues that are understandable by lay people and those kind of issues allow lay testimony to be considered substantial evidence and the specific examples given for such types of impacts include traffic or local residents can testify about what they have observed. and here we have local residents talking about esthetics which is a subjective kind of a category that is certainly subject to layperson evidence and also traffic
issues where people are testifying what they're observing relating to pedestrians and vehicles on this roadway. the fact that you've got a landing at the top of this hill that's right where the driveway is going to enter into the street, there's a bus stop there. there was a lot of pedestrian traffic and the testimony and letters you've received and what you're going to hear today from local residents about what they already observe as traffic and pedestrian safety and esthetic issues, all of that is evidences that you must consider when you consider whether in fact there's any evidence in the record and evidences under ceqa are facts or fact-based reasonable assumption or expert opinions. that's evidence under ceqa, whether in fact there is any evidence at all that would support a finding that this project may have significant impacts.
and this is an easy record respectfully for this body to consider. this is not a small project in this location and the evidence before you is substantial. but i ask that you grant the appeal and overturn the categorical exemption, send this back to your staff, take a look at whether in fact there is credible evidence of a potentially significant environmental impact, look at an initial study. perhaps they will find the mitigation measures once they take a hard look at them, the geotechnical and other issue. perhaps they will actually, after studying that and mitigating it so that the public can see what's being proposed, perhaps they will find that there is clearly no environmental impact and they can do a negative declaration. if, in fact, there is evidence that despite mitigation there may be an impact, then an environmental impact report is required. thank you, and i will turn the
rest of the appellant's time over to alice barkly. >> thank you, ms. brett holland. >> you're welcome. >> we'll stop your time until ms. barkley sets up. >> sorry for the confusion. dr. larry [speaker not understood] will go now. >> l.b. carp, i'm a geotechnical engineer. i gave the clerk a handout. this project is very unusual. the excavation almost as deep as this chamber in the side of a hill at the edge of the roadway, the only roadway to [speaker not understood] tower,
below hoist tower. i wrote two reports. yesterday, i guess over the weekend, the project sponsors hired an engineer to find fault with my report and they issued their own report yesterday. i can't go into everything, but that report contains eight pageses of potential environmental impacts, but every one they dismissed as it can be taken care of in the future by the right engineers at the right time according to various codes and procedures. that's not true. but one of the things, the one thing i wanted to address today where they attacked me for stating that rock wall on the northeast side of telegraph hill was not inter bed are not involved,v inter beds are clay
and seems between the rock masses which erode with water. so, this handout contains, because of time limits, contains four pictures i took on january 27th, 19 -- excuse me, 2012 at the request of my client abbott nabor. before the city did any reports, these are the horizontal lines. [speaker not understood]. i mean right next door. and at the bottom of it, that is a pile of eroded shale or the inter bed material. it just grows and grows as water comes out. the second page shows the pile and some more inter beds. third page shows the same thing, a different view. and the fourth page shows a
close up of the inter bed and the pile of eroded shale at the bottom. the curious thing about the attack on me is that not only what i there before the city hired north america to do an investigation, but then they did have a report. they published a year later. and in that report they went through the shale inter beds and the writer of the report that was received yesterday was hired to do stabilization repairs on that hillside and the permit that was granted them to do that was the -- was based on a rough report of 2013 and supposedly they finished their job on may 2014. so, they're saying something
doesn't exist which they were hired to implement repairs to. thank you. >> members of the board, my name is alice barkley and i represent [speaker not understood] and several of the neighbors. i will be very, very short and what i can say in the next 20 minutes or 22nd or so, i'll reserve it for rebull at. ~ 20 seconds in summary, i'd like to [speaker not understood], one of the reasons we do not believe this project is appropriate in this massing you'll have to go through the history a little bit. essentially they started with a project which is on the first floor, but the site plan and that is considerably smaller. >> ms. barkley, i'll ask you to summarize if you can what you're about to present. >> okay. the project is substantially smaller than what is before the board. [speaker not understood] with the neighbor after they have
discussed the project with the neighbor, they submitted a project that is substantially larger than is now before this board. and during the rebuttal time i can go into a little bit more about the details you have which outline extensively all the reasons why this project is not necessary nor desirable for this particular site and this particular neighborhood. thank you. >> thank you very much, ms. barkley. colleagues, unless there are any questions, why don't we now ask for members of the public that wish to support the appellants on either of the appeals. if you could please line up on the right-hand side of the board chamber faceving us. let's hear from the first speaker. mr. butler.
good afternoon, president chiu, members of the board. telegraph hill has always been about orientation in san francisco. the hill offered the most visible placement for a semifour at the golden gate for the practical use of electricity, business [speaker not understood] communication system was based upon line of sight and established its own flag and stick language for communication purposes. telegraph hill has always been in the middle of it given visual orientation and information to visitors and residents alike. over a six year period from 1995 to 2001 several dozen neighbors and hundreds of other neighbors organized and funded a project at hoist tower to build stairways and ramps and make the site accessible to the
handicap for the first time. to do so we sold stair tiles and where we put the stairway were always considered the view. so, here we are at the top of the stairway and we have a little seat here at the bench. everyone can see the bank of america, downtown, the union square portion of downtown. from the overlook you see the ferry building. from the [speaker not understood] you see the east bay, treasure island. from the parking lot we created owe ace ease among the tall trees so you could see through to the richmond center, to alcatraz, to overlook. that's always been what telegraph, afforded the presence where they were and the direction of how to go. to allow this development at the base of this stair without any view vista is both a violation of the master plan as
am i brandt holley pointed out. we ask for a denial of the cu. [speaker not understood]. >> thank you very much. let's hear from the next speaker. good afternoon, supervisor chiu, fellow supervisor. gary neary. i used to live at that property 115 telegraph hill back in the late 60s, 70s. you might have been in swaddling clothes. [speaker not understood] i defer to other people's position on the environmental aspects of it. but that property is occupied by one of the legendary characters of this city, bill bailey. the college we saw suspended in mid air in mid air up there. i think it would be appropriate for the developer to do the right thing and to commemorate some telling of significant
fashion illustrious history. he was a labor leader, he fought in the civil war. there was a witch hunt in the 1950s. the activities committee he was headed for congress. and many of the things, he was a wonderful person because of that. when the college was lifted in the air people got together and in small check. he donated 30, $40,000 which i think is still hanging out in the san francisco foundation. available to do something to commemorate that particular building. it was shipped off to a parking lot by the muni bus track, railroad basin 20 years ago. it's still sitting out there. in some sort of commemorative condition to be attached to this board [speaker not understood] exercising discretion, do it in the appropriate, i think it would be well suited and in this building if it's going to go forward, and i thank you.
>> next speaker. president chiu and members of the board of supervisors, i'm david golden, i'm the chief facility officer for the san francisco unified school district. my presence here is actually neither in support or in opposition, but of concern. we have a school garfield elementary that will be below this development. we've come to learn in the last week or so that there will be work that may need to progress up filbert street past our site. our concern is for the health, safety and welfare and normal functioning of our public school and it's sort of come to our attention in the documents of the conditional use permit that block 105 is required to work with this developer, garfield elementary falls slightly outside of park 105. if it's possible and if it's appropriate we ask the board of
supervisors to consider something that would include us to be able to work with this developer in full cooperation to make sure that our students or faculty and our school can operate and function in its normal way that we're supposed to. thank you. >> thank you. i just want to mention, colleagues, that i've had conversation with -- my staff has had conversations with usfd and with the project sponsor and i do want the project sponsor specifically to address the issues around garfield at the appropriate time. i want to welcome our colleague from the school board, [speaker not understood]. >> thank you, supervisors. i had in class to be conducted an environmental review at 115 telegraph boulevard. the staging of the cement trucks is going to be on filbert and kearny and this happens to be also the location of garfield elementary school that educates 250 children. we had not heard about the
staging location until a couple of days ago. and i just received a phone call from doug turney today about the [speaker not understood] and we are not guaranteed anything. so, quite frankly what we're concerned about is the impact, the quality of the air dust on our school yard. also, we don't know how many trucks will be there. we don't know if parking will be eliminated there. right now 12 of our teachers from garfield elementary school must move their cars every two hours. also, we don't know if the road will be closed. it is a very tight turn. in fact, our own school buses, regular size school buses must drop the children off at the bottom of the hill and the kid walk up a block every day because the school bus cannot turn around up there. but we do have five special ed small buses going there every day and also our food delivery. so, we're very concerned that this will have impact also on
the education of our children. so, i am asking for a environmental review on behalf of the school board of education just to ensure the safety of our children and that their education will not be interrupted. thank you very much. >> thank you. next speaker. good afternoon. my name is jason owens and with me -- i'm principal of garfield elementary school and with me is sheila, a parent, and neighborhood resident. okay. i am the principal at garfield elementary school located at 420 filbert street. this is approximately 100 feet northwest to the pro poed project. to date we have not been consulted by the developer about the proposed project and only learned about it friday afternoon through a concerned neighborhood member.
since then i have familiar ayed myself with the project and the impact it will have on the school and all 250 of our students. i have consulted with members of the school board and the sfg administration as well as parent teacher organization ~. at the planning commission hearing in september, the developer revealed that he intends to start a significant amount of work adjacent to the school on filbert and turney streets. for those who haven't visited garfield it's on a steep slope. so steep school buses cannot go to our school. often i've had to guide trucks on filbert and turney. to deliver concrete on this location staff, it could take self-months before countless truck trips, maybe hundreds, >> no. >> no. pollution, safety, accessibility issues for the entire school. show you one more picture here.
the top of filbert street and the narrow steep section of filbert street is already extremely constrained and congested. this picture depicts what happens when there is a car parked on turney sticking out a little too far which happens every day and trucks cannot get back down turney and they have to do that. it is the only flat [inaudible]. >> i'll just ask you if you could just finish your final thoughts on that. the project should not have been determined to be exempted from the environmental review. the impacts i just discussed to my knowledge have not been analyzed at all and this needs to be examined further for this reason behalf of garfield elementary school i urge i you to grant the appeal and environmental analysis be taken and our school board and district combined with garfield community be invited to the
table regarding the future of this project. thank you. >> thank you very much. next speaker. good afternoon. my name is jim yasso. i live one house away from the top of the filbert and kearny hill where they are proposing to pump cement. since several people had mentioned the issue with the cement trucks or that spot, i just wanted to highlight that. if you do a search on cement pumper, there are a lot of dangerous issue associated with that kind of construction equipment. not even looking at the size. but as you saw in the photos from the previous speaker, that spot is the staging area for all of our deliveries, any of them coming down kieran ~ kearny as well. it what the alternative where they moved this from. i think what it shows is
they've got serious space constraints for this project as it is presently designed. they're trying to do something off of telegraph hill boulevard to a much more ridiculous location where you're putting children, tourists at risk ~. the top of that hill is also an extremely popular photograph spot for tourists taking pictures back towards russian hill. they would basically be standing next to all of this equipment. so, the other thing i wanted to mention since i still have a few second is the level of excavation and the risks associated with this. the planning commission at the last planning commission hearing -- i thought i had 30 seconds. at the last planning commission hearing, they mentioned that suring should not be an issue. if you look at other sites in the city where they have sheer walls of this height, they have incredible amounts of cement and shoring to try to prevent
land slide. and i don't believe that this project has done any of the necessary environmental analysis to determine what they are going to need on the shoring and [inaudible]. >> thank you very much. good afternoon, supervisor. my name is stan hayes. i am vice president of the board of the telegraph hill dwellers in this case. on behalf of our board, on behalf of the members, those people who couldn't be here, i urge you to grant our appeals. the reasons are pretty simple. this is too big and the impacts are too great. the buildings are going to be super size, not right size for our neighborhood. all three new units, even including the 30 foot deep mine shaft garage, are larger than any other unit within 300 feet. the three new units average
almost 4,000 square feet, which nearly five times larger than the average lot within 300 feet. construction will be so massive that our engineers calculate that more than 10,000 truck trips will be required, disrupting traffic for months maybe a year maybe even more. the reference 10,000 truck trips means a truckload leaving that site about every 25 minutes, eight hours a day, five days a week, every week per year. and because the new buildings are so large, the meaningful view corridor, the project is going to obliterate forever the unique and sweeping public views from the filbert steps of the lower pioneer park. so, please grant our appeal. please send this project back for redesign.
please help us. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> it's showing on that screen. i've never used this screen before. i hope you don't start the clock -- oh, you did start it, okay. thanks a lot. i'd just like to say that my husband and i live adjacent to this property. we own the property in blue on the map, the property in red is where the property is, the cross hatch is where the owner of the property also built. we're in direct line of fire. our problem is water collecting in our basement and the fact that nothing -- none of the documentation i have seen mentions the fact that this
kind of construction project has to be continually watered and i'm very concerned about what's going to happen on that water and that runoff with regards to people downhill from the site. that's one of the many issue that were not really discussed or available when the exemption was written and issued. we had lived in our house for over 20-year. we hurd our property the same time as the owners of this site purchased their property. we've been on telegraph hill nearly 60 years. we're both in our 80s. we anticipate this being very stressful for us and dread having to send our remaining [speaker not understood] dealing with this project. i apologize for saying this, but given the way the planning department brushed off their so-called environmental review, i'm convinced the city could care less about the people that ceqa is supposed to protect. i can't imagine a situation where more red flags than this one. the doctors don't like having
to do e-i-r. it appears given the magnitude that would require e. i r, [speaker not understood] the safety of though who visit in large numbers, even though ceqa aims to protect the planner as well as the public. [speaker not understood] developers access and mitigate risk before they become problematic with costly liability. >> thank you. next speaker. thank you, member of the board. my name is peter dwyer and i've lived four doors down from this property since 1977. and i'm here to tell you those that haven't visited, this is a magical spot. it's really a quasi-public piece of property. it should be protected.
there should be a balance of what this development is going to wind up being and the developer's profits which they have every right to make. i walked down those steps on a daily basis and i see hundreds of thousands of tourists a year in a rather romantic spot taking pictures of the city. the way this massive project is, it not only takes the view away, it takes the light away. it will darken those steps. not to be negative, but rather a constructive as possible. what i would suggest, given all the risks -- maybe they're not true, maybe they are true of this large excavation -- if they put back toward the rear of the property four homes that can be very valuable to them to sell, then have reminiscences
of hoyt tower and not what's designed now which i think doesn't work in that location from an esthetic point of view, move it back, let the tourists have their view over those houseses and the houses will still have great views of telegraph hill and put surface level parking to avoid digging down 35 feet and possibly ruining the i'd and the people all around their properties and being damaged and lawsuits galore against the city. that's my positive and constructive and love to meet with the developers and have them put together something like that with surface level parking [inaudible]. >> thank you very much. next speaker. good afternoon, peter alexander, share enough. i came in on the bus today and